Playful Character Design: Get Creative with the Exquisite Corpse Game | Masholand | Skillshare

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Playful Character Design: Get Creative with the Exquisite Corpse Game

teacher avatar Masholand, Artist & Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your Class Project

    • 3. The Exquisite Corpse Game - Single Player

    • 4. The Exquisite Corpse Game - Multiplayer

    • 5. Choose and Redraw

    • 6. Physical Retouch

    • 7. Digital Retouch

    • 8. Story

    • 9. Bonus Lesson - GIF animation in Procreate

    • 10. Wrap Up

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About This Class

Explore your creativity and create playful character designs using the Exquisite Corpse game.

During this class, we will play Exquisite Corpse games to uncover hidden characters that are waiting for you to discover. Then we will choose and refine one of them. This is a fun and easy gamified experience which will help you come up with unexpected designs that you wouldn’t come up with otherwise. The creature that you will create can be later used in illustrations, animation, or be a part of your bigger story. 

This class is for anyone interested in character design: a) professionals who need a creative solution to get unstuck in their process b) newbies who want to create a character design or c) someone who just wants to have some fun.

Materials needed for this class:

  • Paper and any drawing tool
  • Colors (pencil, markers, acrylic paints, etc.)\
  • Scissor

Nice-to-have for this class:

  • Ruler
  • Graphic tablet (iPad, Wacom tablet, etc.)
  • Procreate or Photoshop
  • Friend(s) - the more the merrier!

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1. Introduction: Hello Skillshare students. Thank you so much for coming and being part of my class. My name is Masho Margishvili, and I'm an artist designer and creator of a parallel universe called Masholand. Masholand is a place filled with different creatures, their stories, and different places as well. They use different media such as illustration, painting, murals, clothing, print, and so on to express the idea of Masholand. The past couple of years have been a chance for me to explore and learn more about gamefied experiences, and I believe that a gamification is a great way to get unstuck in the creative process and just have some fun. In this class we are going to play a game that probably most of you have played during your childhood. It is called the exquisite corpse game. It will help us uncover the hidden characters that are waiting for us to explore, and then we will choose one of the creatures and we're going to refine it digitally and physically. Finally, you are going to create a very simple animated GIF, come up with a story and the name of your character that you can later use in your daily life. This class is for anyone who is interested in character design. It could be a professional who is stuck in their creative process. It could be a newbie who doesn't have any idea about character design, or it could be just somebody who wants to have some fun. For this class you will need paper, pencil, maybe a pen, something that you can color your character with, and maybe scissors and a ruler. If you want to work digitally, you can also use iPad or any graphic tablet or any digital software. I hope that you will find this class interesting. You will upload your creations and share it with me and other students and see you in the next video. 2. Your Class Project: In this class we're going to use a very, very simple game called the Exquisite Corpse game to create a playful character design. This class will really help you to get unstuck in case you are having a creating blog or if you're a newbie who doesn't know anything about character design, it can be helpful or you can just have fun, play a game and see the final result. The steps we're going to take to create our character design is at first, we are going to play different games, multiplayer and single-player of the Exquisite Corpse game, and then we are going to choose one of the creatures that we like the most. Then we will take this creature, we're going to refine it physically and digitally, and we're going to create an animated GIF at the end, which you can apply in different situations in your everyday life. The tools we're going to use are, first of all, any paper that you have around it can be an A4 size paper or US letter size paper or whatever you like actually. Then we are going to use inked pens, the ones that I'm using are 0.7, 0.8, and 0.1 sizes. You can also use different markers or pencils, whatever drawing tools you have around and also some colors. I use usually water-based or acrylic based markers or even chalk-based markers. But you can use goulash or you can use watercolor, acrylic paints, or whatever you like. Some other tools that you may find useful are scissors and a ruler. But it's totally up to you it's not necessary. If you want to transfer your creation in digital form, you might have a graphic tablet, iPad, or maybe you would like to have Photoshop or any other digital software that you usually use. To get the best result possible, you just need to loosen up, have fun, and see what happens because the characters you are going to come up with, they are very unexpected. Get ready and at the end of the class, please share your creation with me and other students because it's really, really cool and interesting to see what you are going to come up with. Let's get started. 3. The Exquisite Corpse Game - Single Player: In this video, we are going to play a game that probably most of you played as kids. It is called the exquisite corpse game and we're going to play two different versions of the game. One is a multiplayer version and the second one is single player version. Now, I'm going to explain you how to play single player version as probably most of you are watching this class by yourself. First of all, you will need a piece of paper, maybe like a four or a US letter size paper or any paper that you have at home. We are going to split paper into three parts. You can fold it actually really easily. This part is not as fun as the rest of the game, but trust me is going to be worth it. Try to fold it in a way that the sides are even, so at the end you have three different sides like this. You can actually also use something to measure your paper if you're not very sure about the sizes and how to split them evenly. This is what I have right now. Then, after we have all the sides folded, we are going to cut the paper in three parts as well. I will show you how. I'm going to use ruler just in case you feel more comfortable to do that. I'm going to split this paper into three separate parts, and I'm going to draw the lines like this. I'm not sure if it's even. What do we have right now is a paper that is folded into two, and it has two lines on each side except in the middle. Now we are going to take a scissor and we're going to cut the paper where we have lines. I'm going to show you result. It's the paper with some tentacles over here. Make sure that you can fold it like this. Now it's time to draw, we are finished with the boring part. Now, let's choose three different things. Things like maybe humans, animals, and birds or insects, birds, and fictional creatures, whatever it comes to your mind but it's better and easier if you are going to choose three different things so you don't have to think again while you are drawing. At first, start drawing your head and shoulder or head and neck from the beginning. I will show you step-by-step so it's really easy for you to follow. I'm going to start drawing a head now. At first, I'm going to start drawing muscle-leader human. I'm drawing a head with a very long neck. The ear, eyes. I started drawing really strange creature. This is the face, and make sure that when you fold one part, the neck is still shown. Let's continue drawing the body of this human muscle lender. For the next step, make sure that you are seeing the neck and you can fold the paper on top of it so you don't follow the style that you started with and continue drawing the body until the waist, but still keep in mind the thing that you are working on. I was working on human muscle lender, and I'm going to continue with the same thing. Now I'm drawing a hand and I'm going to draw a waist, and I'm going to show what's going on here. You can fold the paper on top of it and you can still see the waist over here. So keep it. For the next step, I'm going to draw the rest of the body. Now, muscle lender human is done and we are going to start drawing different creatures on top of it. Let's fold the head, and I will just mark the neck. I will mark the waist. When a continue drawing different creatures, their measurements are not too different from the creature that I drew first. Now I can actually fold all of them. I have my main measurements here on each page each side, let's see out here. Now I will draw different creatures on each side. On this side I'm going to draw probably a bird, maybe a fictional bird. My bird is done and I'm going to fold again and I'm going to draw a different thing, maybe an animal. Fictional cat is done and the most interesting part is starting. We have three different animals or three different drawings on each side, and I can choose different parts for different creatures. For instance, I can see what's going on here, or I can choose different parts for each creature. Now that we're done with this strange game, it's time to show you how to play it in a multiplayer mode. Just go to the next video and you'll see how to play it with your friends. 4. The Exquisite Corpse Game - Multiplayer: In this video, I'm going to explain how to play the Exquisite Corpse game in Multiplayer mode. The difference is that we're not going to cut anything. We don't need a ruler. We just need friends. Make sure that all of your friends are having their own papers and something to draw, and that's it. Let's get you started. For this challenge my friends are going to help me. I'm with my friend Piko over here and my friend Anna here. At first, we're going to draw heads until the shoulder. It's better if we start, and you can see how it goes. Let's start throwing heads. We will try to show each other what we're drawing, so it's a surprise at the end. All of us are going to fold the paper so that the neck is still shown. Let's do it, so like this. Other person knows where the next stars they can continue their drawing from there. Now we are going to exchange our papers in a circle. Thank you. Now all of us are going to draw the main body until the waste. Don't worry if you don't know exactly what you're drawing or if you're not very happy about your results. Now, this is what I have, but don't show those two. All of us are going to fold paper until the waist, so other person can see the waist. Let's start folding. This is my result. Now let's exchange papers once again. Now we're going to finish our drawing and draw the rest of the body. It can be the body of an animal, or insect, or a human, or some fictional creature. It's just up to you. Now we're going to fold the paper entirely. Let's exchange the final time. It's time for a big reveal. We are going to show you the result one by one. Do you want to start? Okay. Let's see what we have here. I think we got some really interesting creatures over here. For the next video, we're going to choose one of them, and we're going to refine it. 5. Choose and Redraw : Now that we have all the options, we can choose one of them. You can just follow your intuition and choose the one that you like the most. No one's going to judge you. It's your creature, it's your character design, so do whatever makes you happy. Let's see what we have here. We have this strange four-legged creature with stick hands. We have this four-eared cat, and human with tentacles. These are from our multiplayer game. We have these couple of creatures here. The winner is this strange bird, cat, human. Combination of all these three themes. Now I am going to redraw this creature and take the part that I'm not very happy about and change it the way I want. I'm going to keep the parts that I like. Take another empty paper, put this creature in front of you, and start redrawing it. I'm not completely happy with the direction of hands, and also the size of its feet, so I'm going to change it. This is still a strange creature you can emphasize the parts that you like. For instance, I liked its tail, so I made it extremely long, and also the eyes are bigger. This is the basic of redrawing, I know it's not perfect, and it's okay. In the next class I'm going to retouch this drawing physically. If you have a graphic tablet, you can skip to the next class, and see how we are going to change this drawing in digital form. 6. Physical Retouch : Now we're going to refine our creature physically and we're going to add small details, colors. We're going to come up with its name. So let's start. First of all, I'm going to emphasize a beak. It's going to smile a bit and I'm going to add more details to its eye. Maybe even add some hair and some more touches. You can keep the colors solid or you can use any coloring tools that you have. I usually go with acrylic markers or chalk-based markers. Your creature can be black and white, or it can be colorful. I wanted my character to be really simple, so I didn't use too many colors. It is basically black and white with some green, black, and yellow parts. I feel like this creature should be called Louise. I don't know why, but for me, it looks like Louise. So I will write the name. Or you can think of a person that you know, or think of a character that you like from books and you can look at the mood of the creature that you created and connect it with this person in mind, it will be easier to come up with a name. I don't know why it's Louise though. Let's write. If you're not still happy about the result, you can always redraw it. You can refine it as much as you want until you're happy. Let's compare what we had and what we have now. I don't know which version is better, but I'm more or less glad that we came up with Louise here. We can always refine it as I said. So which one do you prefer? Just let me know. In the next lesson, we're going to take a photo of our Louise here and redraw it digitally, but if you don't have a graphic tablet, you can skip the next lesson and go to the next one directly. 7. Digital Retouch: In this video, I'm going to explain how to digitize your character. First of all, you have to take a photo or scan your creature. I have iPad, but if you have a different graphic tablet and if you usually work in your computer, you can take a photo or scan your drawing, and then you can transfer it into your device. Then I'm going to open in Procreate, and I'm going to transfer the photo that I just took. Insert a photo, and here it is. Just place it anywhere, and now we're going to work on it. At first let's use curves to change the colors and to make it easier to redraw it. Then I will lower opacity and I will open a new layer. Choose a black color. Usually, I use calligraphy brush, and script. But if you feel comfortable to use different brush, please feel free to do so. All right, let's redraw our creature here, our Luis. My Luis is very different digitally as well. Now, I can clean the layer that we have our photo, and this is what I have right now. I'm not very happy about hands and the tail and how its body moves, so that's why I'm going to redraw the parts of it. I'm going to use the eraser to clean and maybe I will just entirely redraw the upper body. Now, I'm going to add colors as I did previously in physical retouching. Then I'm going to just write its name, and it's going to be it for this lesson. While you're drawing, you can think about this creature and you can think about its story. Where they come from, who are their friends, family. What's the environment they live in, and so on. It's going to help you in the next video as well. It always different when you redraw something. So digitally, I was trying to draw Luis, but it turned to be a female Luis or it's Luisa right now. So here we go. In the next video, we are going to come up with the story of our character and we will see how they will become a life. 8. Story: In this video, we are going to come up with the story for your character. First of all, let's see what we have here. We have our first version of our creature. We have Luis, a male version of our creature, and we have Luisa, our female version of our creature. In order to distinguish their story, it's really good and helpful to think about their environment. Where do they live, what they eat, who are their friends, family members, what they like or dislike? Just like looking at them and freely thinking about it, you don't have to pressure yourself at all, just whatever comes to your mind it can become their story. I think Luis and Luisa, they belong to the same story. So I'm going to put it somewhere else and I will look at both of them. For our story, I need the main character and I need a secondary character. Luis will be the main character for me. Luis has a bird's head, human hands, and cats body, that's why I want to think that Luis lives somewhere in the nature. Maybe he lives in the botanic garden, maybe he's a helper there. As he has a bird's head, he probably can fly as well sometimes, live on the tree. Luis also has a cat body so he can craw anywhere on the ground and also run really fast and maybe use his human hands to help with the gardeners to tender the garden. I think Luisa is the best friend of Luis, and it's her. She's a female. She always brings balloons to Luis and Luis crawls up on top of the tree and puts the balloons on top of it. There is a special tree in the botanic garden which is filled with lots of balloons. Everyday when Luisa brings balloons to Luis, they sit together and watch their beautiful tree, something that they created together. This is the story of Luis and Luisa. You can come up with your own story and please don't forget to share it with me because I would really love to know the story behind. See you in the next class. 9. Bonus Lesson - GIF animation in Procreate: Welcome to our bonus video where we're going to create animated gif out of your creature. First of all, let's look at your character. You already know the story. Pick a little parts of their body or environment that you can animate, that is not too difficult. We can just cover the basic steps, and if you feel like you need to create more, you can do it later. For me, as Luisa is the one bringing balloons to Luis, probably we can animate balloon. Or even balloon and its beak. Let's see. For that, we need to duplicate layer. I'm going to use this freehand tool and then I am going to move it a bit. Maybe not too much. Just a bit. Then, I'm going to duplicate again and I'm going to do the same step. I am just showing each layer because I want to make sure that the distances are not too big, but you can also make it disappear and retouch it a bit and it can return to its place. Let's see what do we have so far. You can go to this tool over here, and you can push here animated gif. The frames can be slower. It's very simple. I'm not going to go too much into details. Now, I'm going to animate its beak like a mouth. I'm going to multiply those layers to make sure that everything is not happening at the same time. You can also name the layers as you'd like. I'm going to use similar thing that I did previously. I will take freehand tool, I will move it a bit like this, and I'm going to retouch it. With the next layer, I can use transparency to see where the next beak is, to make sure that it's not too different like this, and I'm going to do the same. Taking the freehand tool, transforming it, maybe a bit more like this then retouching it. Basically what I'm doing right now is I'm trying to animate its mouth. I'm not going to explain everything into small details. You can animate your character as you'd like, but make sure that the differences between the layers are not too big because the animation will not be too small. Now I will show different layers and how they look before transferring into animation. This, that, that, so it's basically like this. Now I will unhide all the layers and I will repeat the same steps. Go to actions, go to share, and then animated gif. Frames per second could be eight, because this was the intensity that I like the most, and we have our small animation. You can export it and you can save it. We're done with creating animation. I hope you had some fun and you found it easy to animate and you learn something new as well. Please, again, share your creations and maybe your gif as well to the class in the class project. See you in the next video. 10. Wrap Up: Congratulations, you completed the class and you did really well. Thank you so much for watching. What we did throughout the class was, at first, we played the Exquisite Corpse game, with or without our friends, and we created very strange, unexpected creatures. Then we chose one of them, we refined it physically or digitally. We also created an animated GIF. You may ask, how can I apply this knowledge or this new skill to my everyday life? The thing is that, you can actually use it however you like. You can also print your creature on a t-shirt, on tote bag. You can also use your animated GIF, expand it more, and you can create the entire animation. You can use the storyline and illustrate your character in different situations and maybe make a book out of it. It's really interesting process. Thank you again for taking the class. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the discussion panel. You can also reach out to me on social media. Please also share your project in the project gallery with me and other students to see. I'm really excited to see your creations and looking forward to it a lot. If you're interested in exploring the character design more, I have other classes on Skillshare and feel free to check them out as well. I hope to see you and your creations really soon. Until the next time.